February 19, 2013
Use Google Sites to organize and monitor group activity on a class project
Google Sites provides a simple interface to build a course web site and organize information for a course, individual team projects, or collaborations with a research group. Google Sites has a large number of templates to get you and your students started.
Create a collaborative space in which students can share materials, edit common documents, and communicate with one another about a class project. Create pages on the site to serve as document archives (file cabinet), make announcements, or host topical discussions. Google web pages on the site can include images, links, a table of contents, text boxes, videos, and other Google apps. You (and members of student teams) can track who makes changes to the site and when changes were made to hold students accountable for their individual contributions.
Need help? All Google Apps include comprehensive help pages. At the top right corner of the window, click the gear-shaped icon. The menu will allow you to change your settings (preferences) and will also direct you to the help pages, which are indexed and searchable.
This tip is based on a teaching strategy submitted to the Teaching Issues Writing Consortium by Francine Glazer, PhD, Assistant Provost and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, New York Institute of Technology (http://www.nyit.edu/ctl ).
WKU Writer’s Consortium
January 8, 2013
Using electronic tools to organize your class
Faculty can choose among several options to remind students of course activities and deadlines and help students stay on task.
If you teach an online course or use eLearning to supplement a face-to-face course, you can create deadlines in the calendar function in eLearning. Students will see notifications of impending deadlines whenever they open the course in eLearning.
Create a News item to alert students to an impending deadline. Encourage your students to set Notifications in eLearning. Students can request eLearning to send them reminders of upcoming deadlines for the Dropbox or to notify them when a new item appears in their course News or a new message is posted to a discussion forum. Students can choose to receive their notifications in an e-mail or as a text message to their mobile device.
Encourage students to regulate their progress by creating a Checklist of assignments in eLearning. Checklist items include brief descriptions of assignments and the date each assignment is due. Students monitor their progress by checking off each item as they complete it. You can create multiple short checklists for items due in each module of a course or you can create a global checklist for all items due during the term. ATC provides details about the mechanics of using checklist in AskATC.
Google apps strategies
You can create multiple Google calendars in your UWF Gmail account. Create one calendar for each course you teach and enter class meetings, readings, and assignment due dates on the class calendar. Students in your class can subscribe to the calendar for your course. When you make a change to the course calendar, the change will automatically appear in the students’ accounts. Since student email at UWF is hosted by Gmail, students can access the Google Apps calendar whenever they check their email.
Create a Google site for your course. Add countdown gadgets (search on the public gadgets for countdown options) to remind students of the number of days to each assignment deadline.This tip is based on a teaching strategy submitted to the Teaching Issues Writing Consortium by Francine Glazer, PhD, Assistant Provost and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, New York Institute of Technology (http://www.nyit.edu/ctl ).
December 1, 2009
Electronic Information Literacy: Promoting Netiquette in your Class
The campus migration to Gmail provides us with an opportunity to revisit how faculty and students use e-mail for communication. Capitalize on this opportunity by discussing e-mail netiquette with students in your class.
The introduction of electronic communication (e-mail, online threaded discussions, Twitter feeds, etc.) to class interaction poses a new set of challenges for instructors: Teaching students to communicate professionally in electronic media. Faculty might initially think of this issue mainly in terms of their own response to inappropriate language from students in e-mail (Hey! Missed class yesterday. Did I miss anything?) and posts to online discussions (i don’t get the reading this week – booooooring : - ( will this be on the test?).
Effective communication through electronic media is an important skill. Help your students develop this skill with the following strategies:
Good web guidelines on netiquette can be found at the following:
Virginia Commonwealth University
Center for Teaching Excellence
Texas Tech University
Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center
April 7, 2009
Micro-lectures: Just-in-time teaching for critical topics and skills
Attaining competence with some concepts and skills requires repetition and practice. Instructors can use class time more efficiently if they create short electronic modules that discuss a particular concept or demonstrate a skill that students struggle to learn. Create an out-of-class assignment in which students view the micro-lecture and then complete an activity, small project, or written assignment that entails applying the concept or using the skill. Micro-lectures can be as short as 60 seconds to 5 minutes or as long as 15-20 minutes.
Use micro-lectures to:
Shieh, D. (2009). These lectures are gone in 60 seconds. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 55 (26), Page A13.
Want to create a micro-lecture and need help?
Contact the Academic Technology Center: http://uwf.edu/atc/
February 3, 2009
Use online technology to engage students with assigned readings and improve class discussion
The ELearning system can be used to encourage students to read assigned material before class. Instructors can create a “quiz game” in which students take a short quiz to accumulate a “high score” for the assignment. Each quiz might contain only 4 or 5 multiple choice questions on the assigned reading from a larger set of 12-15 questions. The questions should be selected to help students focus on target issues that will be discussed during class. Quizzes can be structured (using D2L or Respondus) so that students answer different questions each time they take the quiz. This can be a low-stakes assignment, but some credit should be assigned so that students complete the activity. Advance completion of the quiz will improve the quality of discussion during the face-to-face class.
Thanks to Xuan V. Tran, MBA, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor in HLES for this teaching tip.
September 9, 2008
Using Technology to Create Community and Engage Students with Course Content
Lang (2008) argues that building community can be difficult if the only opportunity for interaction occurs during regularly-scheduled class time. In contrast, the online environment provides access to asynchronous discussion 24/7. Threaded discussions can play an important role for building community in both online and face-to-face courses. These discussions can also encourage students to read course materials before coming to class.
Make sure that threaded discussions are relevant and “matter” for class performance
Using technology for threaded discussions will be effective for community building only if students are actively engaged in the discussions. If participation is optional, students won’t participate. If the discussions and student postings are not used during regular class meetings and discussions, students will perceive threaded discussions as “make work.”
One way to create an engaging and relevant threaded discussion is to require that students post a 2-paragraph response to the reading for a given week. Skim the postings before class to identify specific topics or questions posed by students. At the beginning of class, briefly discuss high-frequency comments and address important misconceptions or questions included in the posts. When you connect the content of classroom discussion to the content of the threaded discussion, students will know their posts have an impact on the class.
Grading the posts will also motivate students to participate in this activity. But grading should not be onerous. D2L will automatically track the number of posts by each student. One simple grading strategy would be to base a student’s participation grade on the number of posts to the threaded discussion.
Lang, J. M. (2008). On course: A week-by-week guide to your first semester of college teaching. Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press.
January 29, 2008
Students who prepare for class are more engaged with their learning.
Create a module in D2L that students must complete before they arrive to class for discussion. Students must read material in the module and prepare themselves for the discussion and activities in the class. When students arrive prepared, they can engage in class activities more effectively and learn more from these activities.
Updated 01/08/13 cdw
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